What does it mean to be a woman?
What roles do we each play and are we the same everyday.
Mother, wife, artist, writer.
The constraint of the project is to draw a self portrait each day in charcoal for six months.
The question: Am I the same person each day?
At the end of six months the drawings were compiled, cut and reconstructed into full body life size charcoal portraits mounted on cut wood showing multiple perspectives.
Heteronyms is coined after Fernando Pessoa's multiple personas.
The Space Between
In the pause of a sentence—
space is everything—
how else do we know when a word begins or ends?
Exhibited at MODERNISM WEST ‘The Space Between’ is a photographic installation that explores the space held between people as they interact in close quarters against a white background. Like Chinese calligraphy, every stroke and every movement, enacts a balance.
How do we connect? The meaning is held in between.
Performed at Berkeley Art Center, this piece is a humorous physical play on the phrase No Strings Attached. What do we mean by no strings attached? What are we without these strings to family and community? A ten foot long rectangle box filled with raked gravel is set and the strings are attached to the boulders and to Alex’s body. Slowly leaning back, her body a rigid plank, strings slowly snapping under the pressure finally the body hits the ground.
Explored also privately in the studio with tape and string. Alex asks the question around the female body, and the unmonumental act of a woman alone in her studio with tape and string rather. In a city surrounded by the great spanning bridges that link the bay area by cable and steel.
My Eyebrows Fell Off
San Francisco, CA
What happens to our sense of identity as we move through different cultures? ‘My Eyebrows Fell Off’ is a video performance responding to Alex’s personal experience of being in Japan. Tackling the issue of assimilation and identity through humor, bearing witness to the absurd experience of washing a face and finding no eyebrows. This piece explores the difficulty of identity when we attempt to fit in to a new environment and culture.
Containment is a short story by Alex Nichols. In 2011 she was invited to perform the piece at HEADLANDS CENTER FOR THE ARTS/BREAKING RANKS.
Alex’s art practice, whether it is word work, performance, photography, video, is always about the the boxes we contain ourselves in, and the power of our narratives.
Containment is narrated by a man who works in Building 10 cleaning an invisible contaminant. Dressed in a white contamination suit, surrounded by white walls and white shelves, everything is invisible that he cleans, and he is slowly dying. He takes this job to give his family a better life, aware that the exchange will be a short life, we witness him as he relishes the table set with jam and expensive food in his new apartment, watching his daughters eat. We make choices and create narratives around those choices that affirm our decisions, no matter how absurd and painful the logic becomes full proof.
Performed at Headlands, Alex dressed in a white Tyvek suit, inside a white vinyl chamber, reads, eerily portraying invisible contamination.